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Wednesday, July 12, 2006
« Ah, Governance .... | Main | Upcoming vacation in India »

I participated yesterday in a SOA Forum presentation by Steve Graham [IBM] on their approach to SOA Governance.  IBM’s approach to this is pretty holistic, and they fully believe in addressing SOA Governance as an extension to IT Governance.  As I have noted before, I am in full agreement with this and do think that an organization that already has an established governance process in place will find adding SOA Governance an incremental process.

The interesting item for me was the discussion that took place in the Q&A session after the presentation. The premise of that discussion was around the following:

  • Organization does not have existing governance policies and processes
  • Organization is embarking on a SOA initiative
  • Organization is implementing SOA governance as part of the initiative
  • Organization is looking to use the SOA initiative to retro-fit governance back into IT
  • Many Organizations are doing this

I am a bit unsure about this approach.  In a lot of ways, I think the companies that follow this path focus around the technologies that go into implementing and managing the governance processes and believe that the acceptance and use of said technologies equals implementing governance.  The problem, as I see it, revolves around the fact that governance really is NOT about technology, it is about culture. As such, governance requires a change in mind-set and buy-in and support within the organizational culture either because they have seen the light or because they want to stay out of jail.  The easy part in this is the technology. The hard part is the Policies that need be defined and the processes that need to be put into place with the appropriate carrots and sticks. Y’know, the people part! 

Instinctively, I find it hard to accept that an organization that could not implement an IT governance process is suddenly going to buy into the need for governance simply because they are embarking on a SOA initiative.  On the other hand, can the value of governance be demonstrated to the organization as a whole by doing the right thing within the SOA initiative?  Which in turn leads to changes in the larger organizational culture?  I would be very curious to get any feedback from folks who have or are going down this path.

[Now playing: White Flag - Life For Rent]

7/12/2006 10:51 PM Eastern Daylight Time  |  Comments [0]  |  Disclaimer  |  Permalink   
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